In total, 298 million euros were the subject of fraud. The question of ghost funds is still open but according to the latest data collected by the European Union Anti-Fraud Office, the agricultural sector has a large margin of success thanks to more effective measures and stricter controls.
Fraud affecting the European budget fell by 35% in 2011. The most prominent sector was that agricultural where suspected cases of fraud have fallen by 66%. In the area of cohesion policy, cases of suspected fraud decreased by 41%. Despite progress, the fraudulent fund amounts to a total of € 295 million. These funds will be recovered in accordance with the rules in force.
The control system foragriculture has paid off. In fact, to explain the decrease, in addition to the more effective measures and more vigorous controls of EU funds, there are technical reasons. More good news could be the new EU criteria for allocating funds. In agriculture, for example, we are thinking of not incentivising activities that do not apply policies water saving and setting up a more ingrained control system that can guarantee maximum transparency.
"The battle is far from over. The Commission confirms its zero tolerance policy towards fraud, because not even a cent of taxpayers' money must end up in the pockets of fraudsters. This is how Algirdas Sementa, the Commissioner responsible for the Taxation and Customs Union portfolio, audit and fight against fraud.
The agricultural sector is the one that needs to be most protected: not only is it an economic resource capable of relaunching local economies but it is also the means by which safeguard biodiversity and the territory by contrasting the phenomenon of overbuilding.